“There will always be bullies in the kindergarten”, the teacher said, slapped Rudi hit Ukai in the face.
– “But look, he has a bloody nose. Can we at least give him a band aid?” said a brave girl.
“Quick, but don’t make Rudi angry.”
Two children walked up to Ukai and gave her a band aid.
“We’re so sorry”, one of the children whispered, “Teacher doesn’t let us help you fight back.”
– “It’s okay”, Ukai said, “but I’m afraid of what he will do next.”
– “He took some of my lunch and said it is really tasty. And he keeps looking at me in this strange way.”
“What do you think he will do?”
– “He will hit me again and take the rest of my lunch. And I will starve. Oh, I really hope that teacher will let you help us then.”
Eight minutes later, Rudi hit Ukai again on her head. He also kicked her in the belly and threw sand in her eyes. When the other children wanted to help her, Rudi showed a gun.
“Teacher!”, a boy yelled. “Rudi has a gun”.
– “I know”, said teacher. “And let’s all make sure that he is not going to use it.”
“But teacher, a gun, in kindergarten. That can’t be allowed. Do you even hear yourself?”
– “Don’t be so cheeky. You got to calm down. Breathe.”
“But what about Rudi? Why are you not talking to him?”
– “I did, and he told me he will not use the gun unless we make him to.”
“How can a school even function like that?”
The teacher sighed.
“I wonder that too” she said. There was a sadness in her voice. She looked at Rudi, who was hitting Ukai in the stomach, again and again.
– “Rudi, don’t hit the other children, remember. You promised! Especially not the children who are part of the papier-maché group.
“Of course not teacher. As long as they leave me alone.”
– “Are you a bit careful with Ukai”, the teacher said, but her voice was drowned out by Ukai’s cries.
“Teacher, Rudi has used a knife”, a girl said. “Ukai is my friend. Can you please do something?”
Teacher thought for a moment. The playground was a lively hustle and bustle of children, she loved this so much. It was why she had become a teacher many, many years ago. She felt like a mother to all children and the ‘special situation’ with Rudi, as his parents called it, worried her a lot. Rudi was still beating Ukai, and even teacher felt she had to at least make it seem that she tried to stop him.
“Listen up”, she shouted. Her voice was muffled in the chaos of the playground, but audible.
“I know you buy candy from Rudi. I would like you to buy less candy today.”
– “But teacher”, said a boy, “I rely on that candy for my sugar intake. See, my parents are poor and I don’t get enough to eat at home.”
“I know, but perhaps you should consider it anyway. Look what he is doing to Ukai.”
– “What Rudi does is none of our business”, said Ines. “I’ll keep buying his candy. It’s so yummy.”
– “We can’t stop buying it, that’s not an excuse. Without our daily supply of sugar we can’t compete with the other children”, said Gert.
– “I don’t need his dirty candy, we have enough ourselves, I stop today”, piped Ustinov, a strong kid that even Rudi didn’t dare to bully. Everybody know that Ustinov also brings a gun to school, but he would never, ever, use it.
Rudi hit Ukai on her head, then promised her to stop fighting and as she turned around, stabbed her in her back. The other children were looking at them in fear.
“Teacher, that is exactly what Rudi wants. That we are all afraid, that we freeze. When he’s done with Ukai, he will attack Polly and Bart, I am sure of that.”
– “You can’t prove it”, teacher said. “You saw that Rudi is using his knife. What makes you think he will not use his gun?”
– “Exactly. As difficult as this is, all we can do is stop buying Rudi’s candy.”
“Is there really nothing else we can do? I know some kids have given Ukai pencils and pebbles.”
– “I know, go ahead. But don’t upset Rudi. That will only make it worse.”
Rudi had stuck his knife in Ukai’s eye and she lied on the floor, covered in blood. Her screams were chilling and, teacher conceded, quite unbearable.
“We got to do something”, said Polly.
– “Go ahead, stop buying his candy. Give Ukai some needles. You know, if you stick a needle in the right place, that can really be a good defence. Nelly has some needles, and Isis, but I don’t know if we should annoy Rudi so much. He does have a gun.”
Ukai kept screaming. Rudi had cut off her ear and pulled out two teeth. Teacher was sad to see so much blood on her beautiful playground. She wanted it to stop, she really did. She felt desperation and gasped for air.
“I’ve got to lie down”, she said.
– “We all do”, said Ustinov. “This is a sad day for the kindergarten, but a devestating day for Ukai.”
To be continued…